Garrett Mitchell, the former Hershey Bear and Reading Royal captain of the Rockford IceHogs, recently announced that he has officially retired from professional hockey at the age of 31. Mitchell played for the IceHogs the last three seasons and put up 20 points in 120 games over this period. With the Reading Royals, in 2019-20, he recorded 10 goals and 19 assists for 29 points in 40 games.
Mitchell spent a lot of time with the Hershey Bears, both as alternate captain and captain, as he played with them for segments of nine seasons. In 2012-13, he secured 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points in 75 games with the Bears. In the next two seasons, Garrett Mitchell only recorded 10 points in 81 games. He then had a better year in 2015-16 as he put up 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points in 58 games.
Mitchell put a message on social media for his friends, family, fans, and everyone else who inspired him and helped him throughout the years:
“It’s difficult to put in to words the impact hockey has had on my life. As I sit here today, preparing to announce my retirement, I reflect on the past 12 years. A young kid from Regina, Saskatchewan who loved the game of hockey and dreamt about one day playing in the NHL to now, starting a new chapter in my life. My career started off like any other kid…minor league hockey in my hometown and quickly escalated after being drafted to the WHL. Fortunately, I was drafted to my hometown team, the Regina Pats and was able to live at home while I played for the next 4 years. In 2009 I was drafted by the Washington Capitals. I ended up playing the better part of my career for the Hershey Bears ultimately making Hershey ‘home’ to my family and I. Playing for 7 years in chocolate town was a time in our lives that we well cherish forever. In April of 2017 not only was my youngest daughter born, but I fulfilled a lifelong dream of playing in the NHL. My wife, our oldest daughter Lyla, 9-day old Lakelyn, my parents and Mother-in-law were all there for it. Stepping out on to the ice as a Washington Capital with players that I idolized was a moment I will never forget. Over the next 5 years I found myself playing overseas in Slovakia, back in Pennsylvania for the Reading Royals and finally landed in Rockford, IL for my last 4 years. It’s been a wild ride!
To my former teammates, it’s been a pleasure to have played with you. I hope that you were able to take something from me because I know I’ve learned a lot from you. To the guys I played against, I promise I’m a way better guy off the ice than I am on! To my coaches, trainers and staff, I can’t thank you enough for everything. You were a huge part in making me the person I am today. Talita, Lyla and Lakelyn…thank you for being my biggest fans. You have sacrificed so much and supported me through the many highs, lows and uncertainties of this lifestyle. I couldn’t have done it without you! Lastly, to my parents & sister…a huge part of why I had such a successful career. Your support and endless travels for my hockey over the years has gotten me to where I am. I can’t thank you enough for believing in me!”Garrett Mitchell’s Retirement Message
Garrett only played one game in the National Hockey League in his time as a professional hockey player. That was with the Washington Capitals back in the 2016-17 season. In his last season, in 2022-23, Mitchell recorded zero points in 24 games with the Rockford IceHogs. Unfortunately, his final season ended with an injury. Garrett Mitchell put up 66 goals and 70 assists for 136 points in 537 career AHL games. Mitchell was a fan favorite and a good person, both on and off the ice.